BEN: Granting the limited role that disciples and others play in a biography of Jesus, nevertheless, we could at least say that sometimes some of these figures do provide a glimpse of positive discipleship for the audience to follow, so while Jesus is overwhelmingly the main paradigm in this Gospel, we should not neglect the others. Is this a fair reading on your view? I ask because, as you say, Jesus cannot be entirely followed as an example. He’s the only one providing a ransom for the many, for example. And in any case, he’s not an example of discipleship— he’s not a disciple of anyone. A paradigm in some respect yes, but Mark is calling for limited imitation of Jesus, not identification in toto. Is this a fair reading of Mark?
Yes, that’s fair. Other figures often provide glimpses of positive traits that one would associate with discipleship – faith, perseverance, self-denial. And Peter and Judas present negative examples of followers who betray and deny their master. So Jesus isn’t the only paradigm, but I’d say that his cross-bearing way of life is the ultimate model for believers.